12/02/2008 12:00AM

Kelly Leak tries turf in sprint


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - The pick six and pick four at Hollywood Park on Thursday could largely revolve around the fortunes of trainer Mike Machowsky, who brings back the promising 2-year-old Kelly Leak in the fifth race and tries for a second straight win with Gooch's Dream in the seventh race.

The fifth race, a first-level allowance for 2-year-olds going six furlongs on turf, marks the first start on turf for Kelly Leak. He has not raced since a poor try in the Del Mar Futurity on Sept. 3, when he faded to finish 10th in the 11-horse field. He then was freshened by Machowsky.

"I gave him a little break after the Del Mar fiasco," Machowsky said Tuesday afternoon. "I always thought he would like the grass. He's got a quick turn of foot. And he couldn't be doing any better. I'm just glad the race went."

Kelly Leak has had a hard-luck campaign. After a stylish debut win against maidens at Hollywood Park on June 5, Kelly Leak finished first in the Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar, but was subsequently placed fourth by the stewards for interference in the stretch.

Machowsky said that if Kelly Leak runs well Thursday, he would look to bring him back in the Eddie Logan Stakes at Santa Anita on Dec. 27.

Kelly Leak's main challenger could be Smokey Lonesome, who showed great promise earlier this year before going to the sidelines. He has not raced since June, when he defeated maidens - in what proved to be an extremely productive race - at Hollywood Park in his second lifetime start.

Trainer Doug O'Neill entered two horses in the race, Flashman's Papers and Liturgical.

Flashman's Papers has an interesting longshot look. He gets back on turf after two disappointing races on Polytrack at Keeneland. A return to grass could be the tonic. His lone win came on turf, at Royal Ascot, and it came at the expense of Donativum, who later in the year won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf.

Liturgical just ran Saturday, finishing last of eight in the Generous Stakes. He has run poorly in three two-turn races since being imported to this country, but his lone win was in a sprint in Great Britain in June.

In the seventh race, an optional-claiming race for California-breds going one mile on turf, Gooch's Dream will try to step up to his first-level allowance condition and win for the second straight time.